State board approves Dr. David Szymanski as new UNF president

Szymanski to focus on partnering with business community

By Kent Justice - Anchor/reporter, Steve Patrick - News4Jax digital managing editor

David Szymanski named new president of UNF

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The state Board of Governors gave final approval for Dr. David Szymanski to become the sixth president of the University of North Florida.

Szymanski will succeed John Delaney, who has served as UNF president for the last 15 years. Delaney announced his retirement a year ago and is set to leave the university May 31.

"It's a tremendous foundation at the University of North Florida. John Delaney has done a tremendous job creating a institution that's really poised to go to the next level.  I'm looking forward to really further bring out the greatness of this institution, create further bridges with the community and the business community," Szymanski said.

Szymanski  currently serves as the dean of the Carl H. Lindner College of Business and is a professor of marketing at the University of Cincinnati.

Under his leadership as the Lindner dean, enrollment in the business college has grown some 50 percent for undergraduate students and nearly 200 percent for graduate students, according to a news release from UNF.

"One of the things that we thought was critically important in the next president was someone who can work well not only with academic community but also with the business community, something Delaney has done very successfully. Dr. Szymanski is on the board of directors of 5 companies, some of them fortune 500 companies," said Kevin Hyde, chairman of the board of trustees.

“I want to express my thanks to the campus community for their participation in this process and the valuable insight they offered on each of the candidates. I also want to thank the Presidential Search Committee and my fellow board members for conducting a fair and open search that produced thoughtful discussions about the future leadership of UNF,” Hyde said.

During his eight years at the University of Cincinnati, Szymanski led the curriculum changes for undergraduate and graduate students, including revising the MBA to make it more flexible, adding new master's and doctoral degrees, and launching new online courses.

Before working at the University of Cincinnati, Szymanski was the director of the Center for Retailing Studies at Texas A&M University. He earned his doctorate and MBA, both with a marketing emphasis, from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of North Carolina at Asheville.

In addition to Delaney, UNF has had four other permanent presidents, including founding president Dr. Thomas Carpenter (1969-1980), Dr. Curtis McCray (1982-1988), Dr. Adam Herbert (1989-1998) and Dr. Anne Hopkins (1999-2002).

UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others, the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education. 

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